Position magazine now available free on-line

Position magazine now available free on-line

spatial sourcePosition magazine is the only ANZ-wide independent publication for the spatial industries.

Position covers the acquisition, manipulation, application and presentation of geo-data in a wide range of industries including agriculture, disaster management, environmental management, local government, utilities, and land-use planning.


The latest issue includes:

  • How the utilities sector is redefining enterprise GIS
  • Saving lives with satellites
  • Preparing for BIM
  • Generating more maps from spatial big data
  • Solve real-world problems with reality capture

And much more!

latest issue

ASEG-PESA-AIG 2016: Abstract Submission Opens Soon


The Conference Organizing Committee warmly invites you to submit your Extended Abstract for consideration for the ASEG-PESA-AIG 2016 Geophysical Conference and Exhibition.

The template for Extended Abstracts, as well as submission instructions can be found on the conference website.

Please note that the Call for Abstracts closes on the 1st of March 2016.  Successful applicants will be notified shortly afterwards, and must have registered for the conference by the 1st of June 2016.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the conference PCO, Plevin and Associates.

Philip Heath and Luke Gardiner, Conference Co-chairs
Stephan Thiel, Technical (minerals) chair
Simon Brealey, Technical (petroleum) chair
Adam Davey, Technical (near surface & environmental) chair

AIG Queensland Branch Friday Seminar: pXRF geochemistry: use and abuse in exploration and mining



The pXRF Friday seminar being held in Brisbane 13 November has received some fantastic funding from REFLEX to allow AIG to offer students and unemployed ten free registrations.  Please tell your student and unemployed colleagues and friends (who also need to be AIG members)  about this offer.  First in – first served.  Contact Rod Carlson prior to registering.

Free pXRF certification training is now also being offered by Olympus on Thursday 12 November 9am-1pm at the AMC offices in Brisbane.  Again, please email Rod Carlson to reserve a place before Wednesday 11 November. This is an offer too good to turn down for anyone contemplating minerals exploration as a potential career.

The Ethics Column: Reporting Sulphide Mineral Observations in Drilling Intersections

Exploration Results: Reporting Sulphide Mineral Observations in Drilling Intersections

Correspondence has been received from members in recent weeks regarding the description and reporting of sulphide mineralisation in drilling samples. This relates, essentially, to sulphide intersections being reported without any attempt to:

  1. Describe the nature of sulphide mineral occurrence (e.g. massive, disseminated, in veins, forming veins or bands concordant or discordant with bedding or a penetrative foliation observable in the host rock);
  2. Identify the minerals observed; or,
  3. Estimate the abundances of any sulphide minerals observed.

Estimation of the proportions of mineral species present in a sample, where individual grains or crystals are visible in hand specimen, is considered to be:

  1. a skill in which geologists are trained during the course of their university studies in, but not confined to, mineralogy, petrology and economic geology;
  2. an aspect of exploration and mining work in which geologists may be readily and meaningfully trained; and,
  3. work that may be guided by published resource materials (e.g. mineral percentage estimation charts published in the AusIMM Field Geologists’ Manual and numerous other publications, including reference cards that may be readily accessed and referred to by geologists undertaking sample examination and description (Figure 1, Figure 2).

mineral percentages 1

Figure 1.  Chart or estimating the modal percentages of minerals in rocks, http://faculty.uml.edu/Nelson_Eby/89.506/Assignments/Modal%20percent%20chart.jpg, accessed 12 Sep 2015

Mineral percentages 2

Figure 2.  Estimation of the proportion of constituents in mixtures. 
http://all-geo.org/volcan01010/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/PumiceLithicsProportions.png accessed 12 Sep 2015.

Estimates by experienced, competent geoscientists are considered to be reliable and reproducible semi-quantitative estimates of the abundance of minerals present in a sample.  Visual estimates of sulphide mineral abundance should, however, never be considered a proxy or substitute for laboratory analyses where metal concentrations or grades are the factor of principal economic interest. Visual estimates also potentially provide no information regarding potential impurities or deleterious physical properties relevant to valuations of some mineral commodities such as graphite and many industrial minerals. Where visual estimates are reported, Competent Persons should provide an indication of when more substantive and reliable data in the form of laboratory analyses will be available.

Further, the ability to identify economically significant minerals, comprising either a mineral of value or a potentially deleterious constituent is considered to be a required skill possessed by geoscientists acting as Competent Persons for the commodity and style of mineralisation that forms the subject of any announcement or statement of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources or Ore Reserves issued in compliance with the JORC Code (2012).

Not adequately describing mineral species present, their relative abundances and the form in which they occur when their presence in samples is included in announcements and reports of exploration results may be considered not to comply with the underlying transparency and materiality principles of the JORC Code (2012) that may constitute a breach of the Code.

The correspondence received does not constitute a complaint against any Member.  The issue is, however, one within the remit of the AIG Complaints Committee to review, consult with members in relation to, and issue advice and guidance to Members.

Future failure to adequately address these requirements will expose Members acting as Competent Persons for statements of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves to complaints of being in breach of the JORC Code (2012), that may result in complaints being referred to AIG’s Ethics and Standards Committee.

Andrew Waltho
Chairperson, AIG Complaints Committee

29 October 2015

Geoscientist roles in the insurance industry

Aon_LogoAon Benfield is seeking candidates for its 2015 Graduate Program.

Few geoscientists may be aware of career opportunities offered in the insurance industry, in fields including catastrophe management and risk assessment, even though geoscientific skills are widely called upon in prediction, management and remediation of natural hazards, to the point where many recognise this field as a specialised geoscience discipline.

Aon is a leading global provider of risk management, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human resource solutions. Aon considers their broad view of two of the most important issues in our economy today: risk and people as a key advantage. Utilising this advantage, Aon is driven to empower economic and human possibility for clients, colleagues and communities around the world.

Aon Benfield makes unparalleled investments in local and regional Talent Acquisition and Management. Since its inception, the graduate development program has become a cornerstone of this activity.

Aon Benfield Analytics offers clients industry-leading catastrophe management, actuarial, rating agency advisory and risk and capital strategy expertise. Together with our leading broking teams, it helps clients fully consider the capital, income, regulatory and rating agency implications of all risk transfer transactions. Our Impact Forecasting team develops tools and models that help our clients understand the financial implications of natural and man-made catastrophes around the world.

Geoscientists are amongst the key disciplines sought by Aon to work in this area.  

In all, the company’s team of 500 comprises  actuaries, scientists, volcanologists, seismologists, hydrologists, climatologists, meteorologists, statisticians, engineers, capital modellers, programmers and risk specialists.

Using our Sydney operation as a key hub for regional talent development, our Graduate Program offers a structured 12 month development opportunity for recent graduates or final year students in Actuarial Studies.

Aon’s Graduate Program

The 12 month programme is oriented around 4 distinct semesters, providing you with a development platform to accelerate your learning through structured classroom training, on-the-job learning, mentoring and assisted self-learning.  We will also provide study assistance, study leave and exam leave to support industry accreditation and professional qualifications.

Participants in Aon’s Graduate Development Program help to measure Aon client’s risk by applying complex techniques such as catastrophe modelling, exposure modelling and experience modelling. Participants are introduced to the use of dynamic financial analysis and capital modelling to advise our clients on a range of capital mechanisms they can apply to effectively manage their risk.

Who are Aon looking for?

Our Graduate Development Program ideally suits:

  • Australian nationals with a keen interest in and affinity with Asian culture
  • Asian nationals who possess working rights in Australia for the duration of the program, and who are open to undertaking future roles in AON’s regional APAC offices

To meet the selection criteria, candidates will demonstrate the competencies, skills and academic achievements below:

  • Graduates/ final year students in Actuarial Studies
  • Analytical mindset aligned with strong numeracy skills
  • Strong critical thinking and attention to detail
  • Excellent communication skills
  • A keen interest in building a career in the insurance/ reinsurance sector

AON Culture & Benefits

With close to 1600 employees, we are the largest organisation of our kind in Australia. Globally, Aon have an employee base of 69,000 people working across 120 countries. This allows Aon to gather the best thinking from around the world and deliver solutions locally. We provide colleagues with the support to make an impact, a team that will inspire you to achieve, and on-going opportunities for development.

A brochure providing more detailed information about Aon’s graduate program is available here.

How to Apply

Make your mark and apply online today.  Applications should be submitted by 6 November 2015.

35th International Geological Congress

IGCconferenceThe 35th International Geological Congress is being held in Cape Town, South Africa, 27 August – 4 September, 2016.

The Congress Programme is now available from the 35IGC website.  This details the many and varied sessions being planned during the congress.  AIG is involved in the theme Global Geoscience Professionalism and Geoethic being championed by Ruth Allington, Oliver Bonham and Andy Clay.

General deadline for submitting abstracts: 31 January 2016.  Successful presenters will be notified of abstract acceptance by 31 March 2016.

International Map Year

we love maps

The International Map Year (IMY) is a worldwide celebration of maps and their unique role in our world. Supported by the United Nations, IMY provides opportunities to demonstrate, follow, and get involved in the art, science and technology of making and using maps and geographic information.

International Map Year was officially opened at the ICA conference in Rio de Janeiro in August, 2015 and then continue until December 2016.

The purposes of the International Map Year are …

  • making maps visible to citizens and school children in a global context,
  • demonstrating how maps and atlases can be used in society,
  • showing how information technology can be used in getting geographic information and producing one’s own maps,
  • displaying different types of maps and map production,
  • showing the technical development of mapping and atlas production,
  • showing the necessity of a sustainable development of geographic information infrastructures,
  • increasing the recruitment of students to cartography and cartography-related disciplines.

A new book, The World of Maps, has been produced to help celebrate International Map Year.

To find out more about International Map Year and events planned around the world visit the web site.

Earth Science Olympiad Gold for Australia

Australia’s first nationally selected team achieved two gold and a silver medal at the 9th International Earth Science Olympiad held 13-20 September 2015, Poços de Caldas, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Gold medal winner  Zoe Thompson, a student of Redlands School in Sydney, along with her three fellow team members, Sacha Mann from Girton Grammar School in Bendigo, Jade Pham from James Ruse Agricultural High School in Sydney, and Tim Hume from Mansfield Secondary College in Victoria, returned to Australia recently from Pocos de Caldos, Brazil where they attended the Ninth International Earth Science Olympiad.    The students also returned with  second(Jade Pham)  and third place awards (Sacha Mann)  for team- based activities and fieldwork.

As well as working in international collaborative teams on real world problems the students also completed individual examinations in theory and practical work spanning all areas of earth sciences including geology, geophysics, meteorology, oceanography, astronomy and environmental science.

“It is the first time Australia has sent a nationally selected team to compete at the International Earth Science Olympiad, and I think the other nations were a bit stunned that as newcomers we did so well,” says Greg McNamara, Earth and Environmental Science Program Director at Australian Science Innovations, who travelled with the team.

“At a time when maths and science education is under scrutiny in Australia, our team’s achievement is inspirational, and I hope it will encourage many other students to look at earth and environmental science with new eyes,” says McNamara.

Australian Geoscience Council  (AGC) President, Bill Shaw, said it was terrific to see Australian students excelling in Earth Science on the world stage.  ‘It’s outstanding to see the success of these young students. These young people have had a fantastic opportunity to use their knowledge and skills in Earth Science at a world level and to work collaboratively with students from other countries to address real issues. The Australian Geoscience Council and its member societies, representing over 8000 geoscientists, are pleased to have been supporters of the Australian Earth and Environmental Science Olympiad program since its inception. We encourage all students to get involved and learn about the world around them, and we encourage all parents and teachers to support their children and students to achieve their very best.’

The Australian Earth Science Olympiad team members beat over 300 other students from schools around Australia to be able to represent Australia.  After sitting special exams at school, twenty of the highest achievers were selected to attend a Summer School held in Canberra in January.  From there the top four students were chosen to become the Australian Earth Science Olympiad team members.

The Earth Science Olympiad is one of four International Science Olympiads held this year; the other competitions were Chemistry, Biology and Physics. The Australian Science Olympiad Competition is all about unlocking potential and challenging students to be the best they can be.

Australian Geoscience Council media release